On September 30th, a delegation of 11 of the most recent winners of the prestigious Miss USA pageant visited the City of David, as part of their trip to Israel coordinated by The Face of Israel.
The participants included Alicia Blanco, Kristen Dalton, Jenna Edwards, Mallory Hagan, Cassandra Kunze, Michelle LeFrance, Carrie Mantha, Morgan Ortagus, Candace Smith, Bianca Vierra, and Cassidy Wolf.
During their tour, the beauty queens walked through some of the most recent archaeological excavations taking place in ancient Jerusalem, including what is believed to be the site of King David’s palace; the ancient, Herodian “Pilgrimage Road” that led Jewish pilgrims from the Pool of Siloam all the way to the Temple Mount; and the foundation stones of the Western Wall itself.
During the visit, the Miss USA winners were each presented with a gift from the City of David’s own unique jewelry collection, with each piece inspired by actual discoveries in the City of David’s archaeological excavations. The jewelry is designed by leading Israeli artists and created exclusively for the City of David.
Credit: The Face of Israel
By far the most popular piece of jewelry was the 22K gold plated silver “Pure for God” necklace from the Pure for God Collection. The necklace has nine seals, with the larger center seal bearing the words “deka leyah”, meaning ‘pure for god’ in Aramaic, just as the original seal does.
Credit: Avishai Shraga/City of David Archives
Bearing the words “Pure for God,” the original clay seal was likely used to mark items in the Second Temple, which stood upon the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and required a seal of purity. This rare find was discovered during the sifting of archaeological rubble from the channel located beneath the Herodian “Pilgrimage Road,” near the Western Wall.
The beauty queens were blown away by the excavations and thrilled to receive such a beautiful piece of jewelry as a souvenir of their visit to the City of David, ancient Jerusalem.
"Hi, I’m Candace Smith, Miss Ohio, and matchmaker on Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker and I’m here at the City of David in Jerusalem and it is the most magical, beautiful place, and the wonderful jewelry that was given to us just means so much to me and has such great symbolism. I feel so blessed to be here today."
“Hands down THE coolest thing I have ever seen. In my life,” Mallory Hagan, Miss USA 2013.
“Sitting on the boulders that the Roman soldiers hurled down in the destruction of the 2nd Temple and enslavement of the Jews. But, it’s now a place where Jewish people celebrate their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs to show their hope and trust in #God. #beautyfromashes #CityofDavid #Jerusalem,” Kristen Dalton, Miss USA 2009.
Credit: David Vaaknin/City of David Archives